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5 Tips To Make Your Roses Last Longer

5 Tips To Make Your Roses Last Longer

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I bet that many of you have gotten some gorgeous rose bouquets for Valentine’s Day! Flowers are such a thoughtful gift, but they can go bad pretty fast.

The thing is, they will wilt – sooner or later! If you want the inevitable thing to happen later rather than sooner, there are some things you can do!

Cut roses usually last about a week in water before they start showing signs of withering. Here are some tips that can prolong that period!

Let’s get started!

#1 Choose A Long-Lasting Variety

I know, I know – you can’t choose which rose variety you’ll get. But if you have any say in the matter (say, you’re ordering or buying them for yourself), make sure to go with long-lasting roses.

There are many options out there, but American Floral Endowment research revealed which cultivars last the longest. ‘Poison,’ ‘Valentino,’ ‘Reward,’ and ‘Eliza’ are varieties that can last at least 2 weeks (‘Poison’ can go for 20 days). (1)

The study showed that out of 16 tested cultivars, these three performed best. Yet, even the below-average ones could last for at least 10 days!

#2 Trim Them The Right Way

Once you get your rose bouquet, it is crucial to cut it the right way before putting it in a vase with water.

Step 1. Remove the bottommost foliage so that it doesn’t sit in water and contaminate it more quickly.

Step 2. Get rid of the guard petals (the largest, outer petals). It will give your cut flowers a new lease of life and keep them looking more full once they open.

Step 3. Remove dry leaves and petals whenever you notice them.

#3 Use A Proper Solution

Did you know that roses can last a long time without water? But you’ll increase their longevity a lot if you keep them in water. 

Here are some tips that will increase the lifespan of your cut roses:

Tip 1. Place your roses in water as soon as possible. Use distilled water if your tap water is too hard because of chlorine and fluoride.

Tip 2. Cut the ends of each stem before putting your roses in water. This will open them up and allow them to absorb moisture.

Tip 3. Add some sugar or flower food to keep your cut flowers alive for longer.

Tip 4. Once the roses start to wither, cut the end of the stem again to open it up. They will recover in no time.

Warning: Don’t add soda to your roses. There are many videos and pieces of advice that suggest doing this, but no research supports their role in prolonging the lifespan of cut flowers. Caffeine and carbonation aren’t good for your roses – at least stay away from them!

P.S. You should know how often to change water in vases. Replace it every two days or whenever it starts to turn murky.  

#4 Avoid Drafts And Direct Sunlight

After all the hard work you’ve done, you need to ensure you keep your roses in a suitable environment.

Drafty rooms can dehydrate and weaken the blossoms, making them go bad much quicker.

You should also keep your cut flowers away from direct light. While they need as much sunlight as possible when growing, they do much better with a little less sun when cut.

#5 Keep Your Roses Away From Fruit

Another great idea is to keep your roses away from fruits and vegetables. Apples, bananas, and tomatoes, for instance, contain ethylene gas that causes other produce to ripen a lot faster. (2)

This substance may contribute to the wilting, drooping, and withering of your cut flowers.

Quick Tips For Preserving Roses

No flower can fight aging, but there is a way to preserve roses you’ll keep forever. The easiest method includes leaving them in vases after you drain all the water.

You can also hang your roses upside-down and let them air dry. 

And if you want to preserve the freshness of their appearance, you can immerse the entire flower in silica gel.

Now you know everything about prolonging the lifespan of your cut roses. Starting with a long-lasting cultivar is great, but that doesn’t mean you can’t increase the shelf life of any type of rose.

Follow these tips and you’ll see they work!


1. Nell, T. A. & Leonard, R. T. (2004). Identifying Long-Lasting Cut Rose Varieties. The American Floral Endowment.

2. Ethylene in Fruits and Vegetables. (n.d.). UCSD Center for Community Health.